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Caps Like What They See From Prospect Eakin

Yesterday, Bruce Boudreau dubbed 2009 third-round draft pick Cody Eakin as one of the early surprises in rookie camp. The two-way forward has looked at ease in the workouts so far at this week at KCI, showcasing his natural skating ability and working to be the next young player to make a splash with the Caps.

Eakin is only 18 years old, so he'll most likely return to his junior team, the WHL's Swift Current Broncos next season, but the Capitals have had an eye on the 5-foot-11, 187-pound center for quite some time.

While many teams didn't know too much about Eakin before he was named Player of the Game for his two goals in the 2009 CHL Top Prospects Game, the Caps noticed him a year earlier, when they saw him play as a 16-year-old for Swift Current.

"He is a tremendous skater, he's a very determined young man," said Ross Mahoney, Washington's director of amateur scouting. "That underage year, he might have been the best player on his team in the playoffs. When you see a player step up into a pressure situation and play hard, that's something you notice. Then the prospect game, he went there -- he's naturally a center -- he ended up playing left wing in that game and it didn't bother him at all. He scored and elevated his game again."

Eakin played alongside No. 1 overall pick Jonathan Tavares in the prospect game and also had Bobby Orr as his coach in that showcase. He finished with 24 goals and 48 points in 54 games for Swift Current last season.

"I thought I could play with those guys [at the top prospect game]," Eakin said. "I knew I could and I wanted to show everyone that I could. Before that season, I was held back with a little bit of injury stuff and since that I've just wanted to show that everything's okay."

Eakin missed about seven weeks between his 16th and 17th years with two separate concussions, but he said he feels fine and has no lingering effects or headaches.

And because no prospect post is complete without at least one embarrassing fact, Eakin's first game was with his sister's ringette team. "They didn't have enough skaters and I had my gear in the car," he said. "I must have been about four or five. It was just any excuse to get on the ice at that age."

By Katie Carrera  |  September 10, 2009; 8:06 AM ET
 
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Comments

TEB - great job. Keep the posts rolling. Enjoying this early start to the season.

Posted by: crooks_c | September 10, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Eakin could be another steal for the Caps in this years draft (Orlov is the other one). He's playing well and is only 18. He could potentially still have room to grow a bit taller and will most likely put on a lot of muscle in the next year or two. Caps might have enough depth at center that they can take their time developing Eakin. Maybe a strong first half of the season in Junior may lead to an invite to the World Junior Championship in January.

Posted by: madflava | September 10, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

It's a great time to be a Caps fan. I was reading the paper and not only is Ovie's zamboni ride in the Sports section but he also showed up in the Reliable Source in the Style section. I know it is just gossip news but having Ovie and the Caps become news outside of the hockey world can only help bring more people to the game of hockey. And the exciting play of the young guns will make converts.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | September 10, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I really like this kid and can't wait to see how he develops.

Posted by: RedBirdie | September 10, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

This article was by Katie, Thankyou

Posted by: billd2 | September 10, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The way he played at the Prospects Game, I say, send him to Hershey!!!

Great Players get called up young, and next year (at 19) might be a big help to the Caps.

Posted by: RongCapsFan | September 10, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Eakins can't be sent to Hershey, at 18 & 19 year olds have to be returned to their Canadian Jr teams if they don't stick with the NHL club. @0 Year olds can be assigned to Hershey or go back to Junior as an overage player (limit of 3 per team). I believe if the player was drafted when he was playing in the USHL, he can play in the AHL at 19, re Carlson.

Posted by: boomer44 | September 10, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, that should read 20 year olds, not @0 year olds.

Posted by: boomer44 | September 10, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Orlov was definitely a steal, he would've been a legit first-rounder but for the contract issues with the Russian league.

Good to hear that Eakin's speed stands out, at least at that level - but the WHL is markedly slower than the pace of today's game, so that league is simply not the predictor of NHL success it once was.

Posted by: govtimbo | September 10, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

eakin needs to grit things up a bit. Or he'll end up as another boyd gordo

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 11, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

My buddy has skated with Gordon a bit and says he's impossible to beat in the corners, and very strong on the puck.

Which I guess I was glad to hear, but I'm still wondering how on earth that guy went in the first round - high too, IIRC.

Posted by: govtimbo | September 11, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

My buddy has skated with Gordon a bit and says he's impossible to beat in the corners, and very strong on the puck.

Which I guess I was glad to hear, but I'm still wondering how on earth that guy went in the first round - high too, IIRC.

Posted by: govtimbo | September 11, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Gordo is very strong on the puck compared to non-NHL players. Unfortunately, he has to play against NHL competition. Now if your buddy was say..Shane Doan :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | September 11, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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